Business continuity - serving our beneficiaries
Updated: Tuesday 24 March 2020
The current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting all parts of society, including the charity sector. We are determined as an organisation to prioritise the interests of our beneficiaries and staff, while following the latest public health advice from the government.
Please be assured that we have a robust and tested Business Continuity Plan in place. We have invested in remote-working technology ('agile working') which means that all our staff are able to work remotely when needed to. This includes answering calls, including on our 0800 number.
Temporary Grant Changes
In the light of COVID-19 and Government restrictions brought in on 24 March 2020, we are no longer accepting applications for the following:
- wellbeing grant applications for holiday, retreats, sabbaticals or gym memberships.
- emergency grant applications for school trips.
This is because it is unlikely to be possible to undertake these activities at this time. These are temporary suspensions and will be reviewed regularly in line with Government advice.
If you have already received a wellbeing grant from us towards the cost of a holiday or sabbatical and you have had to cancel or change your plans, we will not ask for this grant to be returned. We would, however, expect our grant to be used towards other wellbeing activities throughout the year, as per our wellbeing grants criteria.
Grant payments and communications
Most of our communications with beneficiaries are by email and phone, but we have also made provision for collecting and distributing post, which includes postal applications.
Grants payments will be made by bank transfer (BACS) as usual, although it may take a little longer to process grants. Cheque payments are possible if bank transfer is not an option.
In the event that our staff levels become compromised, due to illness or inability to work, we will consider how best to prioritise our resources. Our focus will always remain on supporting our beneficiaries.
Our Annual Festival on 12 May 2020 has been cancelled
The 2020 Festival Service at St Paul's Cathedral, which would have been our 366th, and the Festival Dinner afterwards at Merchant Taylors' Hall, have both been cancelled following the closure of St Paul's Cathedral in line with the Government's advice regarding COVID-19.
We will communicate directly with all those who have requested tickets, issue refunds for the Festival Dinner, and communicate more widely through social media and other channels as appropriate.
For Festival queries please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org